Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami - Plot Summary - Act V

Act V

The single scene of Act V is only rarely performed in bunraku, and never in kabuki. It takes place in the Imperial Palace in Kyoto where a storm rages. In the aftermath of Kan Shōjō's death, discussions are held regarding the succession of Kan Shūsai, his son, to the head of the Sugawara clan. Though the clan is currently in disgrace, Prince Tokiyo argues that the storm must be caused by Kan Shōjō's angry spirit, and that acknowledging his innocence and restoring the honor of his family by making Shūsai its head would appease him.

Shihei grabs Kan Shūsai, threatening to kill him, and declaring that nothing, not even a thunder god, will stand in the way of him overthrowing the emperor and seizing power for himself. Bolts of lightning slay his minions, as Shihei stands firm. The young Kan Shūsai slips away as the ghosts of Sakuramaru and his wife appear, and attack Shihei. The Buddhist priest Hosshō rubs his rosaries and chants prayers to drive the ghosts off, but stops when he learns of Shihei's evil schemes. The ghosts attack Shihei once again, with sakura branches, and kill him. The storm dispels and the ghosts depart.

The play ends with the priest Hosshō declaring Kan Shūsai the successor to the Sugawara house, and the posthumous conferral upon Kan Shōjō of the Senior First Court Rank. He declares that a shrine should be constructed at Kitano to honor the minister, who shall now be worshipped as a god (kami) of scholarship.

Read more about this topic:  Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami, Plot Summary

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